My name is Charlotte, sometimes known as Ms Lottie, occasionally as The Slightly Mad Quilt Lady. This is my blog, where you'll find me writing a lot about my quilting and textile arts and a little about my family's life in a small seaside town in New Zealand. Haere mai!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Creative Blog Hop

I've been invited by Elizabeth, over at The Silverscrapper's Craft Space, to be part of the Creative Blog Hop.  This is an on-going Monday event designed to introduce readers to other creative bloggers and I thought I'd join in for something a little different.  I'm supposed to answer a few questions about myself and then introduce you to three other creative bloggers.  Next Monday it will be their turn.

Here's how I introduced myself over at Elizabeth's:
My name is Charlotte and I'm a quilter.  For other quilters that probably says it all:  I'm addicted to fabric, colour and texture; I love thread in all its glorious weights and I have far too many projects on the go.  I make quilts that double as art pieces, they hang on the wall and beg to be touched and I make more traditional quilts that go on the bed or couch and are perfect for snuggling.  I design, make, write and teach and it's my dream to do it all for a living one day!  Somewhere in amongst the fabric is my family.  We live in rural New Zealand and our current exciting project is the renovation of an old Navy minesweeper boat - shortly it will become our home!

1.  What am I working on now?

Um, far too much!  I have a habit of dreaming big when it comes to entering quilts in exhibitions and as the due dates come closer and closer I have to narrow it down.  Currently I'm working on a large painting boat.  It's seriously cutting into my quilting time so I've had to knock a few quilt ideas on the head.  To keep my hand in, I'm nibbling away at machine quilting a humungous blue and white quilt that I started about seven years ago.  I'm also trying to keep one step ahead of my students in my Beginner's Quiltmaking Class with the samples I need to make to show them techniques.

2.  How does my work differ from others in my genre?

Quiltmaking is such a huge genre.  Traditional, modern, hand pieced, appliqué, free-motion quilting, thread art - it can encompass it all.  I describe my style as eclectic, I make traditional quilts as well as art pieces.  I prefer machine piecing over hand piecing, but I do dabble in a little english paper piecing.  I love to hand dye fabrics, and my quilts often feature these.  I love appliqué, I use silk organza, I've included work in coloured pencil on fabric.  You'll often find birds in my work - New Zealand is a real avian dominated eco system, and I think that has something to do with it.

3.  Why do I create what I do?

I love the process of making, the discovery in each quilt I do.  There is something new in every work, that I couldn't have discovered if I had just thought about it, I have to do the work to find it.

The satisfaction of looking at a completed quilt and knowing that I made it is also a strong motivator, and when I give quilts away as gifts and see how much people enjoy them, it's so heartwarming.  I once called in to an acquaintance for a visit, and saw their toddler snuggling on the couch with a very well worn quilt I hadn't given him as a baby.  Best feeling ever!

4.  How does my creative process work?

I don't have a set formula.  Sometimes my inspiration is an image, sometimes a theme for an exhibition really catches my imagination, sometimes an emotion or idea just pops into my head (often in the middle of the night, or when I'm in the shower).  I use a sketchbook for ideas and processes too.  This really helps keep my ideas in one place.  As I have way more ideas than I'd ever have time to turn into quilts, I need a way to keep them organised, and it's useful to refer back and get inspired all over again.  I often use a gridded exercise book to work out patterns and proportions too.

My next favourite tool is a big roll of packing paper.  For an art quilt I can usually tear off as much as I need and draw up a design full size.  This is really helpful to see if it works.  

I like to play with fabric combinations and these might change quite late in the process of the making the quilt.

Lastly, I find it really helpful to make quilting design decisions on a quilt.  So I make practice quilt sandwiches and quilt out any ideas on there first to check what they look like.  My minds eye is not always accurate!

Now, it's Monday afternoon, I've been writing this in bits and squeaks during the last few days, I'm supposed to post this today, and I've spent the last week painting that #%£*&;% boat and not making any time to find creative bloggers willing to take up the next round!  My bad.

So instead, I want to point you in the direction of some creative resources that I find helpful:

Reading the Holstee Minfesto
This is the one that starts, "This is your life, do what you love and do it often."  If you don't know it, go read it.  If you haven't read it in a while, go read it again.

Pat Sloan's blog post: about the business of quilting.  She writes about the questions people ask her about turning their quilting hobby into a business.  It's particular to quilting, but it does have recommendations that are pertinent to any creative pursuit.

I also invite you to check out the blogs on my sidebar - lovely blogs from creative people, and if you are interested in writing about your creative process, leave me a comment asking to join in the blog hop and I'll add your blog link and blurb to this post (sorry Elizabeth, I feel stink that I've broken the chain, but life interruptis).


  1. Hi Charlotte, what an interesting post, but then I knew it would be, that's why I tagged you. I look forward to seeing more pics of your boat as it progresses. I will most certainly check out the links you've mentioned too. Hugs, Elizabeth xx

    PS: I don't think you should worry about not finding people to tag, you're not the only one that has struggled there xx

  2. Another interesting post, one that you have put much thought to. With so much going on in your life this must have been a challenge.

  3. Great post Charlotte, it is interesting to see how you tick! Isn't it intriguing how we all approach the process so differently. Love the little video! Thanks for the links :-)


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